Train harder: why 40% of retail workers felt they weren’t trained properly

Article by Martyn Jones | 26th August 2020

Retail is one of the most fast-paced sectors in the UK. Colleague turnover in this sector has always been high, with many retail workers seeing the role as temporary. For employers, this presents a unique challenge. How can we train colleagues well without wasting time?

After the end of the 2020 lockdown, VoCoVo conducted research into the state of retail workers in the UK. We found that surprisingly, retail workers want more training. Many felt this single factor was why their job satisfaction could be higher. Let’s find out more:

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Nearly half of all retail workers (46%) said they were satisfied with their role. Of the respondents we spoke to, over a quarter felt very satisfied at work. This is an impressively high figure, given that workers have been at the frontline during a period of high stress. 

However, where respondents were not satisfied, we asked them to explain why. Many said the single biggest thing that would improve their job performance would be a better work/life balance (33%). A similar percentage said they’d like more support from management.

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Other areas for improvement included providing more opportunities for colleague interaction (29%), an area we’re passionate about at VoCoVo. However, 40% wanted better training on products and queries. Retail workers are understandably anxious about answering customer questions well. Of the workers we spoke to, almost half admitted occasionally having to guess when answering questions, just so they could provide an answer. This approach doesn’t help anyone.

What can be done?

We believe that a better-trained team is an empowered team. Colleagues that have had more opportunities to learn about the business perform better, are more efficient with tasks and provide better customer service. Sadly, training often isn’t possible in such a fast-paced industry. And with the requirements of physical distancing, training 1-2-1 is also problematic.

Our suite of retail communications technology enables teams that are spread across large distances to work together. Training happens whilst working. This single channel of communication provides access to more experienced colleagues, means that new employees can ask questions without guessing, and keeps team morale high.

Retail workers want to communicate more with their team. They also want more frequent communication with head office (25% of our respondents said so). 

We believe that positivity will be the thing that sees retail workers through the tough times ahead. It’s no doubt that this sector has seen heroic steadfastness in the face of COVID-19, and the coming months are likely to be as tough. Our customers believe in the power of communication, because it brings teams together.

Give your team the gift of better communication

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